Green Tips

There’s plenty of ways you can live “green” – from simple, easy things to more committed approaches. Here are some helpful tips for earth-friendly living.

Start with Energy Efficiency

By saving energy, you not only save money, but you help the environment.

  • Switch to CFLs or LEDs lights, they use 75 percent less energy.
  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR certified appliances.
  • Set your water heater temperature to no higher than 120 degrees.
  • Add insulation and weatherize your home. (There’s a rebate called Button-Up that your local Touchstone Energy Cooperative may offer that can help you off set these costs.)
  • Wash clothes in cold water and only do full loads.
  • Clean your refrigerator coils annually.
  • Seal leaks in your duct system.
  • Close shades and drapes at night to keep heat in during the winter, and open them during the day to catch free solar heat.
  • Caulk outside your home, around all penetrations including telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water spigots, dryer vents, etc.
  • As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative member, you can perform a free, online energy audit to find out more about your home’s energy use. Visit your co-op’s website for information.

Living energy smart

There are other easy steps you can take in your everyday life.

  • Use the dishwasher for full loads only for the most efficient water use. If you have only a small number of dishes or pans to clean, wash them by hand.
  • Turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth! Leaving it on wastes water.
  • Buy organic foods to help promote sustainable agriculture in your area.
  • Save paper by distributing business or other documents on a flash drive or through e-mail instead of printing hard copies.
  • Install ultra-low flush model toilets to save gallons of water per flush.
  • Repurpose old t-shirts and towels for cleaning instead of using paper towels.
  • Plant trees and plants which are native to your area. They won’t require pesticides.
  • Replace paper napkins with cloth napkins.
  • Compost kitchen scraps and use them to fertilize your garden.
  • Buy gifts from antique shops or thrift stores.
  • Only purchase gift wrap that’s made from recycled materials.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of clean water instead of running water.
  • Use rain barrels to collect rain for use in your garden or to wash vehicles.
  • Don’t leave your car in idle for long amounts of time.
  • Make your recycle bin the largest receptacle in your home.